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How to travel with your camera?

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  • How to travel with your camera?

    So we will be taking our trip with my husband soon. We have decided to go to London, Amsterdam, and Paris. Eric will be working most of the time leaving my 12 year old and I to explore the cities. I really really want to take my big girl camera and my one zoom lens (28-300 which weighs a ton!), but my husband thinks I'm asking for trouble. Do you think anything nefarious will happen to us if I'm walking around with it? How do YOU keep your camera safe when traveling? Should I just take my pocket camera and phone and not worry about it? The only reason we are getting to go is because his work is covering all of his expenses (which means the hotels too!). I don't think we will be back to Europe anytime soon. I'd love to get some great pictures, but not at the risk of having my camera stolen or damaged. What do you think????
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  • #2
    So when we went to London and Paris a few years ago, we only took the old point-and-clicks because if they got dropped or lost, meh. While the pictures weren't as excellent as what my DSLR could have done, they were just fine for what I ended up doing with them (I've got a bunch of layouts posted in the gallery). When we go this summer (it's a roadtrip rather than a public-transportation extravaganza like our last trip), I do plan on taking the big camera in the smallest travel case I have (and no extra lenses), but I still need to sort out the strap situation. Regardless, take a couple of extra memory cards and batteries/chargers (and adapters for the European outlets)!

    Another thing that might not have come up yet: your phone may not work overseas if you don't have the right SIM card in it. We left our phones behind since they wouldn't work over there anyway....one less thing to have to worry about forgetting or leaving behind, even if the camera on the phone has a higher resolution than the ol' PnC (this really bugged me for the first couple of days, but for me it was easier dealing with fewer electronic devices). If your husband's company is paying for his expenses, they may also be willing to pay for, activate and then cover the data charges to ensure that his phone works overseas.

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    • caliten
      caliten commented
      Editing a comment
      mocamom, since my kids were young-ish (6 and 8) we didn't go in many museums or wait on lines, and we went out of our way to avoid crowds. We did do a ton of walking around, and used public transportation. Also, I started a thread in the Forum here asking this same question, and many of our great members here offered up all sorts of different ideas.

      Things I'd do again:
      London: London Eye (get your tickets online before you go ... they're notably less expensive that way; we did the two-ride deal - one during the day and one at night), ride a vintage Routemaster double-decker bus (check out London's Heritage Routes ... not hop-on-hop-off, but you can see all the big sites for less than 2 pounds per person), Trafalgar Square to see the lions (this was corrin 's idea; we were not permitted to climb on the lions when we visited), Imperial War Museum (if you're into that kind of stuff - it has free admission).
      Paris: Eiffel Tower (again, you can get your tickets online before you go), Batobus (hop-on-hop-off river cruise, we did the two-day option), the pastries and the coffee. Oh my.
      Amsterdam: Canal cruise; NEMO (science museum) ... we only had one day in Amsterdam so we didn't get to do much. We also ate at the largest floating Chinese restaurant in Europe, which is right by the NEMO. I would NOT recommend it. We spent more time outside of Amsterdam, and really enjoyed Zaandam (by the end of the day our Dutch friend informed us that we now knew more about the Dutch than most Dutch people), and the Afsluitdijk ("owf-shlight-dyke", because we're weird like that).

      Things I wanted to do, but we ran out of time:
      London: British Museum, Kensington Gardens
      Paris: Louvre and all the rest of the museums, Arc de Triomphe.

    • mocamom
      mocamom commented
      Editing a comment
      caliten, Oh My. Thank you so much for your thoughts as well as that thread!! Zach and I are making our lists now to show Eric (my husband). He often helps us put things in order so we get the most things done for the time we have. Zach LOVES history - any history but especially the World Wars. We definitely will need to see the Imperial War Museum and the British Museum. A friend that was there recently said the Natural History Museum was better than the British Museum. Any thoughts? corrin? Oh and all of us absolutely love science museums so I'm excited there is one in Amsterdam. Eric won't have any time at all with us in Amsterdam - not even at night as he has business dinners. We definitely need to find some fun things to do there!

    • caliten
      caliten commented
      Editing a comment
      Robin ( mocamom ), London and Paris (and probably Amsterdam) are rife with WWII history. London has the Churchill War Rooms right near Parliament and Big Ben. We totally wanted to go, but for us it wasn't worth the cost of admission with kids who have no patience for reading the signage and whatnot in museums. And I hope the weather is nice when you're in Amsterdam, because the rooftop patio at the NEMO is awesome.

  • #3
    Yay for visiting London!! I am still peeved that they don't let you climb on the lions in Trafalgar square anymore (and would have a sneaky try, as a protest!).

    I think I would probably leave my big camera at home (if I had one!). Carrying heavy cameras and lenses makes the day more tiring, and worrying about possible damage wouldn't be worth it to me. I am sure there would be shots I would wish I could have taken, but not enough to actually take the camera. I probably would take my phone to work as a camera (even without the optioon to use it as a phone), because I am used to it and what it can do (and also because it connects to the cloud for storage of photos - even abroud I believe?!). BUT, having said all that, I don't have a big girl camera, so I don't miss what I don't have!

    Have a wonderful trip! When are you going/coming!?

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    • mocamom
      mocamom commented
      Editing a comment
      We are leaving on the 8th and taking a red-eye flight so we will land on the 9th at 0930 London time. We will have almost 3 days there, 2.5 days in Amsterdam, and 3 full days in Paris. It's going to go by lightning quick so we have to pack as many things as possible into this trip. I think you after listing to you both, I'll leave my big girl camera behind. I hate not getting the photos I want, but I'd hate even more damaging it. And I'm being totally stupid by not thinking about my phone. You are right, I can still use it as a camera just as easily. The wifi function will work so I can always use that when we are at the hotels (not that we will be in them that often!). Eric says we cannot check any luggage so all of our stuff has to be carry on only. Oh my. Zach and I are used to Texas weather so we will be bringing coats as well. We are wimps

  • #4
    I'm a professional photographer, and I've traveled all over with my DSLRs. I have business insurance that covers my cameras wherever I happen to be, but you can put travel insurance on them for the trip. That way you have piece of mind in case you drop it, it gets stolen, etc. It's not very expensive to procure insurance like that.

    When I travel internationally, I take my memory cards out every few hours, and put them on my person. That way if my camera happens to get stolen...I still have the images. I did this religiously in Kenya because the police are notoriously corrupt. But, I've NEVER had a problem anywhere...not even in Kenya. I think you will likely be perfectly okay in Europe!

    I couldn't imagine not taking my cameras with me when I travel....but that might just be me?

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    • mocamom
      mocamom commented
      Editing a comment
      hmmm, insurance! I didn't think of that!! Great idea about the memory cards. My zoom lens is a beast unfortunately and quite heavy and noticeable (I should have paid more attention to the reviews prior to purchasing!), but if I'm taking my camera, I don't want to just take my 35mm lens. Do you carry your zoom? Where do you get travel insurance lealawson?

    • lealawson
      lealawson commented
      Editing a comment
      mocamom, the best place to start would be calling your insurance company. They likely can draw up a rider just for the equipment & time you will be away. Just be aware of deductible amounts & if there are any restrictions on what they will cover.

      Honestly - I don't typically use my zoom lens for travel. I have a 70-200 f/2.8, and it is a beast. I initially purchased it because my little brother was a star athlete in high school, and wanted to make sure we documented it with amazing images. And it DOES take amazing images. But it is so big & heavy, that it mostly gets used only at wedding ceremonies now. I primarily use my 50mm, 105mm macro (which is a GREAT portrait lens as well) and my fisheye for fun shots. All 3 lenses are easy to carry, and I can switch out a lens in like, 2.5 seconds. Lol! I'm actually looking to purchase the 35mm f/1.2 in the near future, which I will likely change out for my 50mm.

    • mocamom
      mocamom commented
      Editing a comment
      I LOVE my Sigma Art 35mm!! I truly don't use my 50mm hardly at all anymore! And I know what you are talking about with your zoom. My Canon 28-300 weighs almost 5 pounds. When I bought it, I thought to myself 5 pounds? Pffft. Apparently 5 pounds can make a huge difference when walking around for periods of time with it!! I'll have to pick your brain about your macro. With more and more kids leaving for college, I'm needing something else to take pictures of hehe!
      Last edited by mocamom; 01-30-2018, 12:20 PM.

  • #5
    I bought a camera bag that allows me to put my big camera and a lens at the bottom but in the top pocket I can put papers, purse and such. I use to have a bag that weighted only on one shoulder and it gave me painful shoulder aches. I bought a rucksack and bye bye pain. If I travel to a new country I would definitely take my big camera but 1st because I have this ruck that doesn't hurt my back. I would probably don't take any extra lens because I have one that goes from 28 to 200 I think and it is perfect for travel.

    I usually have my camera at my neck so I don't think it risks being stolen. But in your place I would be more careful riding the metro (I only know for Paris) with you bag on your back. There are a lot of pickpockets and I would always keep it in the front when I go in a station. But for the camera I wouldn't loose the opportunity to take nice pictures that's for sure.
    My iPhone 8 would probably take nice pictures too as the lens is much better than the 6 I had before but I would be careful not to take it out too much as now it seems people grab it and run lol

    I'm sorry. I am going to scare you but really it's just more about pickpockets interested in purses. They would probably only try to reach in your bag to get that. I don't think they would go for the camera as it is too obvious. Listen to me, I sound like a pro pickpocket lol lol But all the people or friends that got robbed it was either passports or purses. Actually I was told by a friend that a woman she was travelling got pickpocket twice and each time it was her make up poach thankfully. 2 trips, 2 pickpockets. You think people would learn, huh?! lol

    Anyway. I hope you can find a nice solution so that you don't miss out on anything.

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    • mocamom
      mocamom commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for the tips for avoiding pickpockets. That is something that I was concerned about. Glad to know you think the camera won't be the main draw, but rather the wallets, phones (didn't think about that being grabbed out of my hands!!), and passports. I need to read up on how to walk around without getting things taken. I am so bad now about just putting my phone in my back pocket and not paying attention to what's going on around me!!

  • #6
    I have a BIG camera (mark ii) and then I have a smaller BIG camera (7d) and I always take that one. Have a great time!!

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    • mocamom
      mocamom commented
      Editing a comment
      See Krista, that's why I should never sell my older equipment. I wouldn't be in this predicament if I had kept my 60d!! My family is so bad about getting rid of stuff, and sometimes it comes back to bite us!!

  • #7
    I'm a professional photographer but I on't like to go in vacation with so much gear and weight, so I travel only with my camera (5D) and my 24-70 lens (more versatile) and according my husband it's too heavy (because on travels he carry them)
    LoL

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    • #8
      Could you maybe rent a smaller zoom for the time of the trip? Because yours sounds very heavy indeed, and that would ruin some of the fun for me. Having a smaller, lighter zoom lens would be a good compromise between the good pictures and not breaking your back after the first two days! LOL I wouldn't get too scared about pickpockets for the camera, but make sure the rest of your stuff is safe, especially in very touristic places like the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

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      • #9
        I've heard similar experiences. I've never actually heard someone's camera was stolen. I'm sure it happens though. I guess pickpocketers are interested in fast cash, and can't be bothered with having to sell the camera and other equipment.

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        • Kat Hansen
          Kat Hansen commented
          Editing a comment
          I see this is your first post at The Digital Press -- welcome to our community!!

      • #10
        I used to lug around my larger lens, but then found it to be too cumbersome ... and I have an older phone, so while the camera is pretty good, it doesn't have all the bells 'n' whistles that I would like. My compromise: a pancake lens. Tiny profile, 40mm F/2.8. Honestly, it was a freebie from some points I'd accumulated on a credit card, and I wasn't 100% sure if it's like it. However, for landscapes, the sharpness is great, and portraits and macro photos turn out awesome (the depth of field that i can generate is really great!). However, zero zoom capabilities, which can be a drawback. But, like I said, it's a compromise. The lens is lightweight, only has a profile of an inch or so, and gives good quality results.

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        • #11
          Last year, we traveled A LOT. About half the time, I took my DSLR and the other half of the time I relied on phone pictures that my husband and I took. Looking back, I am incredibly disappointed in the photos from the phone only trips. Granted, they aren't BAD, but my DSLR just looks so much better. Yes, it can be a pain to carry around. I would sometimes even carry two lenses with me. But, I think it's worth it! I got a neoprene sleeves that wraps around my camera and I carry the camera in the sleeve. It offers protection if something got splashed or in the case of light rain and some protection if it gets bumped (though I am still VERY careful with it in that regard). But I love having my DSLR with me to capture things I may never get to experience again.

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